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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Interview with Author Christi Barth and Giveaway

Today I would like to welcome author Christi Barth to RFTC. Chrisit is celebrating the recent release of her book Planning For Love and has stopped by to answer a few questions, but first let's get to know a little bit about Christi.

Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage.

A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance.

Christi lives in Maryland with her husband.

Places to find Christi:

First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
I earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew me to wedding planning. Ultimately, I succumbed to a lifelong love of books and now write contemporary romance.

Did you always want to be a writer? 
I’ve always wanted to be an author. As a bookworm and a speedreader, I’ve had a deep and undying love for writing forever. Rumor has it I started reading at age 2! Of course, I also wanted to be a princess, just for the pretty clothes and tiaras. The chances of either career goal coming to pass looked slim. However, I first realized that I actually could be a writer five years ago, when I completed my first book (which I sold!). Having a complete manuscript under my belt made it real.

What kind of writer are you? Panster or Plotter?
Detailed plotter who shudders at the mere thought of pantsing. I do an overview of the entire book, and then I have to outline every chapter. I have beautiful power point charts and everything. Can’t work without it. I’ve tried just forging ahead on a chapter, but I go nowhere. Once I jot down a synopsis of the chapter, my fingers fly over the keyboard. I don’t always stick to it, but it is integral to my writing.

Where do your ideas come from? 
For once, I’ve got a great answer to this question! I used to be a wedding planner. 9 out of 10 people who learned this would say you should write a book!. Then they’d launch into elaborate eye winks about bridezillas, and mother of the bride horror stories.

Except, in my experience, 90% of weddings are wonderful. They are a celebration of friends and family and enduring love. Most people do pull it together and behave like grown-ups. So I didn’t want to write a scathing tell-all. But a series that focuses on the wedding industry, showcasing people who spend every day creating the perfect happily ever after? That felt like a good place to start. And maybe a few crazy hijinks did slip into my manuscript. It is a comedy, after all!

A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
Hopeless romantic Ivy Rhodes and anti-Cupid Bennett Westcott request the pleasure of your company for their disaster of a courtship.

What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read? 
While I do love my genre (contemporary), my favorite reads are paranormal romances. Also adore travel memoirs that I can read in the air-conditioned comfort of my couch, rather than actually living through scary/funny/uncomfortable adventures.

Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
Don’t make me choose. That’s like asking me to choose between oxygen and water.

What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write? 
I guess as a romance author I shouldn't admit this, but love scenes are brutal to craft. You can only say he stroked such and such body part so many times, so many ways. The actual writing becomes very clinical and leaches all the sexiness out of it for me. I can grit my teeth through makeout scenes, but when it comes to full blown sex, my requirements are a single white Russian (nope, no other drink will do) and Pink Martini on the cd player.

If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
Julie James, because I love her books and she's been fabulous when I've chatted with her; JR Ward, so that I wouldn't have the biggest potty mouth at the table, and my friend Stephanie Draven, who is always delightful.

Last question, are you working on anything right now? 
I am knee-deep in book 3 of the Aisle Bound series, Friends to Lovers. It follows Daphne the florist and Gib the British lothario as they journey from—well, friends to lovers! Just finished writing their aphrodisiac dinner that works far better than either of them expected. Also, please keep an eye out in December for my novella Ask Her At Christmas, in the anthology Romancing the Holiday, also featuring stories by Jaci Burton and Helen Kay Dimon. It, too, is set in Chicago, with a cameo appearance from the hotel where Ivy & Ben have their one torrid night.

Hopeless romantic Ivy Rhodes and anti-Cupid Bennett Westcott request the pleasure of your company for their disaster of a courtship

Wedding planner Ivy Rhodes is the best in the business, and she’s not about to let a personal problem stop her from getting ahead. So when she’s asked to star in the reality TV show Planning for Love, it doesn’t matter that the show’s videographer happens to be a recent—and heartbreaking—one-night stand.

Bennett Westcott admits he didn’t handle his encounter with Ivy very well. But looking at her beautiful smile—and great body—through a camera lens every day? He can’t be faulted for suggesting they have some no-strings fun.

The more time they spend together, the more Ben realizes Ivy isn’t the wedding-crazed bridezilla he’d imagined. But if he doesn’t trust himself to make a relationship last, how can he convince Ivy to give him another chance?

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
1 lucky commenter will win a copy of  Planning For Love

To Enter:
  • Please leave a meaningful comment or question for Christi.
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter form.

Good Luck =)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. That sounds like a really cute book. As far as paranormal romance being your favorite genre, who is your favorite author of that genre? My favorite would be JR Ward. I love the Black Dagger Brotherhood novels.

  2. JR Ward is unsurpassed. I have to give full credit to my friend/fellow author Laura Kaye (her books are great, too!) for turning me on to the BDB. Also a fan of Laurell Hamilton's Merry Gentry series, and of course, Karen Marie Moning.

  3. Congrats on the new release. This book sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the great interview. How interesting you used to be a wedding planner. I've never read Julie James. I'll have to check her out.

  4. Great interview. Love finding out about new to me authors. The book looks great, definately adding to my must read list.
    I am a huge Laurell K Hamilton and of both of her series. I love Merry Gentry-I have a huge book crush on Doyle. Also love BDB, my favorite is Vishous. Can't wait for the new book. Very excited for the M/M storyline.
    My questions for you are: I see what your favorite genre to read is, what is your favorite genre to write? Which do you prefer to write: stand-alones or series?
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    christinebails at yahoo dot com

    1. Thanks for stopping by! My favorite genre (now that I've churned out eight books) is humorous contemporary. And although it is MUCH more complicated, I truly enjoy writing a connected series - love getting to expand the story.

  5. thanks for a fun post and congrats to Christi on the new release! It sounds fabulous :) It was already on my radar and my wishlist!

  6. This would be a new to me author, sounds like a fantastic book.

  7. I was intrigued when you said you are also a speed reader. I've never done that because I'm afraid I might miss something really meaningful that the author is trying to impart. Do you ever feel that way?

    Looking forward to reading your novel. Sounds great!

    1. No, I never took a class, so I don't use that scanning speed method. If I did that I might miss something. I'm just really fast. Not that special - it means I run out of books really, really quickly!

  8. This sounds like a curl up with a feel good book on a Sunday afternoon book!

    Thanks so much!

    1. I promise it will put a smile on your face ANY day of the week!

  9. Sounds like a great read!! Thanks for the chance to win!

  10. Their "disaster of a courtship"? Sounds intriguing...and like a fun read.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  11. I love the Merry Gentry series also. It was one of the first UF series I got hooked on. Best wishes with the book. I love books with wedding planners.

  12. This sounds like a fun read.

  13. I love your attitude! Many people are not as positive in outlook, not only do you retain that about weddings, you are clearly proud of what you accomplished and participated in as a wedding planner. I now am really excited to read your books, as I had not discovered you until today. I am sure that your approach will make for books I can really enjoy!

    1. That is one of the sweetest compliments I've ever received. Thank you so much!

  14. The book title is very cute. Everyone deserves a little romance in their life. I hope you get a BIG award for this read.

    1. I'm okay without an award. I just want the reward of knowing that I brightened someone's day with my story, maybe distracted them from a problem for a few hours.

  15. hi cristi..nice to know you..
    great interview...i think this is a great books, cant wait to reading..
    thanks for the giveaway..

  16. I'm with you, Christi. I think PNR books are great fun to read. But romance of all varieties re worth reading. I think I am slightly more partial to historical romance than contemporary, but I'll read them all. THanks for letting us see how you work.

  17. Did you read Nora Roberts and Linda Howard's contemporary books on wedding planners? Hopefully, not all brides are so out-of-control.

    1. Oh, yes. I was at a conference and fan girl-ing all over Christie Ridgway, begging to know what her next series would be, and she told me "a wedding planning trilogy". I was 1/2 way through writing Planning for Love. And then Nora Roberts quartet came out. Of course I read them all, because they are great writers and thoroughly amazing books. But I do still feel that I brought something fresh and funny to the topic.